Jewish Heritage Europe

How to & Best Practices

Cleaned-up Jewish cemetery in Jozefow Bilgorajski. Photo courtesy of FODZ
Clean-up at Jewish cemetery in Jozefow Bilgorajski, Poland. Photo courtesy of FODZ


I found this stone behind a yard overgrown with nettles and weeds.[…] I do not ask when and how it appeared here or who committed a barbarian act. I only want to protect it against further destruction. I look for a shelter for it […] I do not know what I am allowed to do and what I am not allowed. I do not even know if I may be a temporary guard of a tombstone. I do not know whom I should ask for advice and I do not know if I make it.

— “Kamien z Nowego Swiat,” by Polish poet, Ryszard Krynicki


We eventually will be posting texts — in several languages — summarizing best practices in restoration and preservation of Jewish cemeteries, as well as of Jewish gravestones.

Until our own material is ready, please click on the links to the sidebar to access books, articles, web sites and tips on how to go about this important, and often delicate, work.

For general information about the history and meaning of Jewish gravestones we recommend the following:

Jewish Tombstones article by Marcin Wodzinski, in YIVO Encyclopedia

A brief primer on the history of Jewish cemeteries and grave markers in eastern Europe, as well as on epitaphs and iconography.